Held on the second Saturday of May at Nashville’s Percy Warner Park, the Iroquois Steeplechase is the premiere spring race in American steeplechasing and Music City’s traditional rite of spring – typically attracting more than 25,000 spectators.
There’s nothing like the Iroquois. It’s the perfect combination of Southern gentility and sport with history and traditions that date back to 1941. This year the Iroquois will celebrate 72 years as one of Middle Tennessee’s top sporting and social events, attracting the best horses and riders in America as well as the crème de la crème of Southern Society.
- 2013 marks the 72nd running of the Iroquois Steeplechase.
- Even under threatening weather conditions such as the Nashville Flood of 2010, the Iroquois has run continuously since 1941 only taking one year off during World War II.
- The list of Iroquois winners includes the greatest steeplechase horses in America. Five Eclipse Award winners – Flatterer, Lonesome Glory, Correggio, All Gong and Good Night Shirt – have won the Iroquois. Several others have competed in the race.
- When Iroquois, the namesake of the Nashville race, became the first American-bred winner of the English Derby in 1881, Wall Street closed temporarily for a celebration.
- The Iroquois Steeplechase grounds were constructed in 1936 as part of a parks improvement project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
- The grounds for the Iroquois have a year-round irrigation system.
- The Iroquois draws an average crowd of 25,000 on race day.
- Improvements to the Iroquois Steeplechase grounds that are paid for by the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation provide year-round benefits and enhancements for the Equestrian Center at Percy Warner Park.
- Since 1981, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has been the official charity of the Iroquois Steeplechase and has received more than $9 million from the event proceeds.